UPDATE (Nepal): Seven people who faced returned home safely


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-30-2004
ISSUES: Judicial system, Rule of law,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is happy to inform you that seven persons who faced re-arrest by the police after their release from Banke Prison Nepalgunj on 23 June 2004, went back to their home safely on June 24. AHRC has previously issued an urgent appeal on this case on June 23 and intervened into the matter quickly by calling the relevant government officers. (Refer to: UA-74-2004)

When the executive director of the Advocacy Forum met the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), she reported this case to him and with the intervention of the AIGP and the Deputy Inspector General (DIG), the police and the army who surrounded the Advocacy Forum office confirmed that they would not re-arrest the seven persons. Shortly after that, all seven persons and their family members went back to their houses safely.

The seven persons had been released on June 21 according to the order of the Nepalgunj Appellate Court on June 20, however, security personnel in plain clothes immediately followed them and surrounded the office of Advocacy Forum to re-arrest the seven people. The seven persons and their family members had stayed at the office of the Advocacy Forum in Nepalgunj after their release on June 21.

Thank you for your great support for this case. However, we would like to ask you to keep your eyes on the current situation in Nepal.


Now, the human rights groups in Nepal are deeply concerned about the repeated attempts by the security forces in particular the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) to weaken the judiciary by re-arresting released persons according to court orders. Human rights groups in Nepal believe that hundreds of people have been detained in communicado and tortured severely in different army barracks. Several Nepali local newspapers reported recently that the RNA sent a letter to the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal, which stated that RNA would not allow anyone to enter any of its units without permission from ‘above.’ The letter was a response to the NHRC, who had objected to not being given access to army barracks to meet detainees. The letter is also a response to the Supreme Court which had sent a letter to the RNA to respect its orders. According to the Constitution of Nepal, no one can be detained more than 24 hours without the permission of the courts.

However, King Gyanendra issued the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance 2001 (TADO), which is used as the country’s National Security Law. TADO became a means for unlawfully detaining and torturing numerous suspected Maoists and journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders. Although the right to file a writ of habeas corpus was not suspended under the state of emergency, human rights attorneys in Nepal assert that most writs of habeas corpus were either rejected outright or allowed to languish indefinitely during the state of emergency. Many individuals detained under TADO were minors, and many are still missing even months or years after the date of their (often undocumented) arrests. Several individuals who were released due to a successful writ of habeas corpus found that they were re-arrested minutes or hours after their “release.”

In its Annual Report 2004, Amnesty International mentioned that following the breakdown of the cease-fire last August, more than 150 people were reported to have “disappeared” after arrest during counter-insurgency operations by the security forces in Kathmandu and other districts. It further added that torture and ill-treatment of detainees in the custody of the RNA, Armed Police Force (APF) and civilian police continued to be reported regularly.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-30-2004
Countries : Nepal,
Issues : Judicial system, Rule of law,